Every time we hit the road our vehicles protect us from the elements, keeping us comfortable for journey after journey. The cabin air filter is important for our comfort, as it filters outside pollutants from entering our cabin through our vehicle’s heating and cooling systems. Similar to how a cabin air filter protects us while we drive, your engine’s air filter protects the engine from particles, pollutants, and other things that shouldn’t be in there.
Eventually, every component of our vehicles need to be serviced or replaced. Checking an air filter, and replacing it if it is dirty, is an easy procedure that your mechanic can take care of during your next visit.
Read on to learn about how a dirty air filter will affect your vehicle’s performance.
Dirty Air Filter vs Your Engine
Every combustion engine requires consistent, adequate, and clean airflow to function properly. Throughout its lifetime, an air filter will collect debris which will eventually restrict the airflow, preventing your engine from getting the proper air to fuel ration. When this happens, the engine will not run efficiently and may even overheat. It would be like trying to run a mile while breathing through a straw.
In addition to causing reduced efficiency and overheating, a dirty air filter will cause noxious emissions, may damage your spark plugs, and create detrimental engine buildup. From a performance perspective, your vehicle will experience reduced acceleration and torque.
Regardless of your vehicle or driving demands, changing a dirty air filter is a vital part of vehicle maintenance. Not only will changing your engine’s dirty air filter save you money in the short term, by improving your fuel mileage, but it will also keep your engine healthier, preventing more costly repairs down the road.
How to Know if Your Air Filter Needs Replacing
Wear and tear on your air filter is expected after a few thousand kilometres. Keep an eye our for the following symptoms while you are driving, as they might be indicating a dirty air filter.
- Lower than normal fuel economy
- Strong fuel smell from the exhaust
- Difficulty starting the engine, or engine misfires
- The check engine light is on
- Strange vibrations or sounds from the engine
- Noticeably reduced engine performance
- The air filter looks dirty
Replacing the Air Filter
The frequency with which your air filter will need to be replaced ultimately comes down to a variety of factors. Many dealerships add the requirement to change an air filter (engine and cabin) to service interval “packages”. The Tunerworks Service approach never assumes a part requires replacement until we inspect it. For this reason, our Service Inspection Reports provide you with pictures and video, allowing you to make the final decision to replace a filter.
The following factors will have the most significant effect on your air filter’s health
- Ambient levels of smog and pollutants
- The make and model of your vehicle
- Your driving habits and style
An air filter change shouldn’t be a big deal, and a trustworthy technician will let you know if this service is required immediately or in the near future. Proper vehicle maintenance involves lots of little jobs like this, and keeping them under control is a major reason to have a consistent, reliable service team keeping track of the health of your vehicle.
The Tunerworks Difference
Every part of your vehicle’s drivetrain works together, just like a human body. If one component of your vehicle’s system isn’t functioning properly, it will negatively affect other parts and the overall performance. Don’t let a simple air filter prevent your vehicle from performing at its potential.
At Tunerworks, our commitment is to help you get the most out of your vehicle. We uphold this commitment through meticulous, detailed, high quality auto service and repair. This includes keeping an eye on the condition of your vehicle’s air filter.